It’s that time of the year where we all get inspired by the good weather, and start thinking about how to spend some time outdoors. Need some inspiration? Become an explorer!
There are multiple definitions of the word explorer. This is the traditional one:
“someone who travels to places where no one has ever been in order to find out what is there”.
I think this definition did the job in past centuries, but it could use an update:
“An explorer is one who uses his five senses to see what is really out there to be appreciated, regardless of whether it has already been discovered by others before, as opposed to one who travels through a territory without really looking.”
During the past couple of weeks, we had our friends from Spain visit us in Belgium, Mer Ceruzzi and Maykol García from Bushcraft School Aborigen. (Their story is a bit complicated, but, in a nutshell, they are from Venezuela but lived in the Canary Island of El Hierro, and recently moved to the mainland of Spain.) Maykol and I spent a week together in Han-sur-Lesse were we were part of the GoodPlanet Adventure Expedition (a summer camp with the goal of stimulating 16 children to re-establish their connection with nature).
After that intense but rewarding week, both our families participated in our ongoing project, the Wild and adventurous Benelux Expediton 2015.
At the end of 2014, having explored many pristine and wild places over the last 20 years, we really felt like finally doing a project about the beauty of nature and wild places, but this time in our own adventurous backyard of Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg). For the span of 2015, we are dedicated to exploring the most beautiful natural and wild places of this region.
In very densely populated countries, such as Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, nature, wild places with fauna and flora is not taken for granted! Sometimes these well-hidden, natural places are tough to find, but they do exist – brave and vivid, surviving within the surrounding concrete of cities and industries. Maybe that’s why we should cherish them even more.
The goal of this project is to show people that you don’t need to go to the North Pole or climb Everest to be an explorer. Just go outdoors and start discovering the natural treasures nearby. Adventurers such as Sean Conway and Julian Monroe Fisher are masters of homemade expeditions, proving with projects such as Running Britain, Kayaking the Thames, and Carolina Rivers Exploration that exploring doesn’t always require faraway places and tons of money.
Anyway, while travelling through our own wild and adventurous Benelux backyard, it was stunning to see it all through the eyes of our Venezuelan friends. Places we have hiked through or passed by without really noticing anything special were perceived by them as incredibly beautiful and wild. They noticed different things than we did; they saw the details and the rich colors. They smelled the odor of plants and herbs that seem very common and imperceptible to us.
Discovering this part of the world with us awakened long-past memories of their times living in the Venezuelan jungle and their various adventures on the different Canary Islands and the Spanish Peninsula. The experience was a real eye-opener for us, as well.
We would like to invite you to get outdoors and discover your own wild and adventurous backyard – wherever you happen to be. Try to see things through the eyes of a stranger; imagine you are hiking, running, canoeing, cycling or whatever through nature with some faraway friends who come to visit you. While (re)discovering your backyard for the first time, try to see, feel and smell the same things they would. We promise that you will see things you didn’t know were there and appreciate them much more. Things that have always looked so normal to you may suddenly become treasures!
Being an explorer is a state of mind. As far as we at rewilding drum are concerned, it is the perfect way to accelerate your rewilding process. The list of benefits is endless, but let’s sum up just a few reasons why:
- Moving outside your luxury-comfort zone will teach you a lot about yourself, and it will make you a stronger person.
- You will automatically learn how to move in a more natural way, dealing with different kinds of natural obstacles.
- There is no better way to disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature, while reducing stress levels and increasing you vitamin D intake.
- Discovering the natural beauty surrounding you is a good way to spend time with the family.
- Bushcraft and survival skills come in handy on the trail, and yes, even in your daily life.
- It’s a good way to start learning how to forage and gather some wild foods.
- You will appreciate the simple things (such as food, drinking water, shelter and warmth) much more.
So, unleash the explorer inside you and discover the treasures of this planet.
Your wilder self will be much happier.
We would love to hear how you plan to unleash the explorer within you!
Don’t hesitate to share your explorations with us!